Although the village of Oak Park has been sheltering in place against COVID-19 since the Oak Park Health Department issued the order March 18, the village will now defer to the similar stay-at-home order issued March 20 by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The statewide protective order goes into effect March 21 at 5 p.m. and extends until April 7.

“The local shelter-in-place order will be rescinded in support of uniform criteria and enforcement across Illinois,” according to a news release from village government.

Just like the village’s order to shelter in place, the state’s order allows people to continue carrying out essential activities, such as grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions and visiting medical care providers.

Essential businesses will also remain open; essential businesses include auto repair shops, banks, press outlets, utility services and more.

Restaurants can continue delivery and carryout operations under the state’s order, as they had previously under the village’s shelter-in-place order.

Fire and police departments, medical care facilities and public benefits hotlines, as well as other essential services, will remain open.

“Oak Park will exclusively follow state guidelines for enforcement,” the village news release said.

According to the State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response section of the state’s website, “Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or just taking a walk.”

Additionally, “People gathering in groups over 10 may be asked to social distance or go home. Illinoisans should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.”

The Illinois National Guard will not help in enforcing the stay-at-home order. Rather, it will support logistics, transportation and medical response efforts.

The state’s website also said state agencies are partnering with community organizations to provide funding and resources to ensure people experiencing homelessness have safe shelter during the COVID-19 crisis.

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